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The Lecht Mountain Bike Trails
Europe and the US have led the way in ski centres opening lifts to mountain bikers in the summer. Now Grampian has caught up. The Lecht Ski centre, in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, now ferries bikers 700ft up the side of the hill to let them experience the thrill of gravity as they make their way back to the bottom on purpose built trails - ready to do it all again.
 
Both of the Lecht's trails have been designed by leading trail builder Peter Laing, renowned for his work at Glentress, and are described as mountain cross. In other words - fast, fun, downhill trails that are suitable for those who have a bit of sanity and wouldn't venture on to a traditional downhill course.
 
Obviously the chairlift isn't free, but with tickets costing £20 for an adult half day (2009 prices) then its got to be worth a try. Cheaper tickets are available for juniors and children.
Check their website for latest prices and opening times.
 

 
Routes
From the chairlift, there is only one way down, with both trails following the same route for the first few hundred metres. They then split into:
 
The Red Fox Grade - DIFFICULT [RED]
The Red Fox descends nearly a kilometre and includes dirt jumps, bomb holes, berms and rock based features.
 
The Blue Hare Grade - MODERATE [BLUE]
The 1900m long Blue Hare offers all the features of the Red Fox, but just toned down a little. Its a more gentle trail with the odd chicken run included for those last minute second thoughts.
 
In addition to the above cycle trails, The Lecht also offers an
 
MTB Skills Park Grade - EASY [GREEN]
Great for mucking about on, trying to impress your mates; and more sensibly, great for warming up on before heading for the Hare or the Fox.

 
Getting to The Lecht
Grantown, Aviemore and Cairngorm Mountains The Lecht Centre car park (grid reference NJ245130 - see OS map 36) is right beside the A939 Cockbridge to Tomintoul Road, the highest main road in the UK, and always the first to close due to snow and ice! Not surprising when you consider it rises to 2090ft.
 
OS Map 36 also covers Grantown, Aviemore and the Cairngorm Mountains

 
Facilities
The Lecht ski centre offers a cafe, a bar, toilets, a changing area and bike wash facilities. There is no charge for the car park.
 
Nearest bike shops are in Ballater (17 miles) and Braemar.

 
Nearby Trails
Other mountain bike trails to explore in the area include:
Ben Aigan between Aberlour and Keith

 

 
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